The crime of being honest

 
“What’s this for? For bein’ an honest cop? Hmm? Or for being stupid enough to get shot in the face? You tell them that they can shove it.”
— Frank Serpico
 
 

Serpico is about an honest cop who will not give in to a corrupt and dishonest system. It is the story of every honest police officer stuck working with the self-serving. How much easier would it be to go with the flow? But what has a man profited if he gains the world but loses his own soul?

Frank Serpico suffers professional and personal setbacks as he insists on carrying out his duties based on his personal, moral code. His lovers leave him, his colleagues turn against him, his life is unhappy. But he does not give in and continues to rebel against the system, raging against the corrupt machinery.

In the end, Serpico gets his comeuppance. No good deed goes unpunished. He is shot while his colleague lets him get shot. He finally learns his lesson and leaves the system that he tried to serve and reform for so long. Thankfully, where there's life, there's hope.